Individuals with foot problems are more likely than their counterparts in good podiatric health to develop secondary conditions of the lower extremities, including hip pain and knee osteoarthritis.
One oft-used remedy for the latter arthritic issue is an injection of hyaluronic acid into the knee, since the substance is naturally present in the joints as a lubricant. This injection is known as viscosupplementation.
However, researchers from Switzerland’s University of Bern recently found that the treatment may not be as effective as previously thought. In a review of 89 trials on viscosupplementation, the team discovered that its benefits are minimal, and that side effects like swelling and inflammation may not be worth it for some patients.
“We don’t have evidence that viscosupplementation works, but it is associated with an increased risk of adverse events,” said Dr. Peter Juni from the University of Bern in Switzerland, who worked on the study, as quoted by Reuters.
Results of this study underscore the importance of preventing conditions like knee osteoarthritis. One way to do so is to ensure that the feet are free of conditions like bunions or hammer toe, which may adversely affect biomechanics and put stress on the knees.